A Descriptive Analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor's Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Programs. 4.2. Program-Level Findings


Overall, 121 programs are included in the database and described in this analysis. Almost half (46%) of all programs are for CNAs, about one-fourth are for HSSs (28%), 15% are for DSSs, and only 10% are for HHAs. There are only 35 apprentices in the HHA specialty competencies, too few to warrant further refined analyses of those specialty programs at this time.

The mean total workforce size of the CNA programs (1,803) dwarfs the total workforce size for the programs for the remaining major occupations, whose workforces range in the low hundreds, but this is the result of a few large hospital systems with nursing home businesses affiliated with them. Although there is current major demand for CNAs nationally, it is unlikely that nursing homes will be the setting of the biggest growth in long-term care jobs. Only programs with CNA and DSS apprenticeships involve multiple sites, with the remainder having only one location. Only six programs are nationally sponsored (all are for CNAs). Half of the programs (61) are in one DOL region (the Midwest), while the rest are spread fairly uniformly over the remainder of the DOL regions. DSS programs are the only major program type where a majority or plurality of programs is not in the Midwest, but in the West, where seven of the programs (39%) are located.

Although not all programs report data on the length of the overall apprenticeship and its related instruction component, those that do average about 2,000 hours overall and 319 hours for the related instruction component. The largest overall apprenticeship length is for DSSs, which averages 3,267 hours, which is twice as long as that of the next longest apprenticeship overall length (1,783) for CNAs. Potentially, DSSs might have been given more credit for prior time worked than other major occupations.

Regarding related instruction, community colleges and vocational schools provide important contributions in addition to those of program sponsors, who may not be able to provide such training if their organization is relatively small. The most common source of related instruction is community colleges (38% of all programs), followed by the sponsors themselves providing onsite training (27%) and then through vocational schools (23%). This differed by major occupation, with 45% of CNA programs using vocational schools for this component, 44% of DSS programs and 75% of HSS programs favoring community colleges, and 77% of home health agencies providing this instruction onsite at the employer.

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